MA by Research

PhD male and female students smiling

Our MA by Research is a short research degree, independent from the PhD process. Therefore it is ideal if you would like to do further research but cannot commit to the time involved in a PhD.

This degree usually takes one year full-time, or two years part-time. Due to the nature of the degree, it is important that you have a clear focus and adopt a disciplined approach to your research project. You will be supervised by two academic supervisors who will guide you in the production of a piece of original research.

The MA by Research process

The MA by Research degree is awarded when you successfully complete a piece of original research in the form of a 100-page or 30,000 word thesis. It is vital to clearly define and plan your research project before you commence study. You need to complete and submit your research work and thesis within 12 months of full-time study, or 24 months of part-time study. Therefore, regular meetings with your supervisor are important; you only have a short period in which to complete.

To qualify for the award of an MA by Research you must meet the required learning outcomes and satisfy the examiners that your achievement is of sufficient merit. You will do this through presenting a publishable thesis on the subject of your research, and defending your thesis at an oral examination, or 'viva voce'.

Choosing a research topic

To apply for the MA by Research programme you must be able to clearly define your research project and identify where it links to the expertise we have at the Business School. It is important that you spend some time exploring the research that we are involved with and whether your own research is likely to fit alongside this.

Look carefully at the research conducted within the six main departments of the Business School across our multi-disciplinary research centres. You should also consider our research topics of interest and our academic staff profiles to identify whether your research interests fit within our areas of expertise.

Find out more about defining your research area at the Business School.

Entry requirements

Candidates with a good Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification (for UK students this is usually an upper second or first class honours degree) can apply for the MA by Research.

You should also meet our English language requirements.


Fee structures change every year for our MA by Research programme. Visit the University's fees page for the most up-to-date information. 

How to apply

To apply for the MA by Research programme you will firstly need to defining your research area and prepare a research proposal.

Visit how to apply for more information and guidance on the application process.